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Dame Barbara Woodward appointed UK Permanent Representative to the UN in New York

The Foreign Secretary has appointed Dame Barbara Woodward as the UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Barbara is currently the British Ambassador to China and previously served as the Foreign Office’s Director General for Economic and Consular Affairs and the International Director of UK Border Force.

Barbara succeeds Karen Pierce, now British Ambassador to the United States.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said:

I am delighted to announce Dame Barbara Woodward as our next Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Dame Barbara will bring her formidable intellect and dynamic diplomatic skills to bear - to deliver for Britain, and forge the cooperation we need with our international partners to tackle the toughest global challenges we face.

FCO Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Simon McDonald yesterday said:

The UK has a proud history of tackling the world’s most pressing issues through the United Nations. Barbara is a fantastic diplomat who has the skills and experience to lead this important work, and I congratulate her on the appointment.

Dame Barbara Woodward yesterday said:

I am honoured and delighted to be asked to lead the UK’s mission at the United Nations at a time when the rules-based international system faces pressing global challenges and a significant reform agenda. The UK has a vital role to play as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the UN’s third largest donor.

Further information

  • Barbara joined the Foreign Office in 1994 having worked in DfID (then ODA) and the Cabinet Office.
  • Barbara’s first posting was to the UK Embassy in Moscow in 1994 before serving as Head of the EU Enlargement Section from 1999-2001 and Deputy Head of the Human Rights Policy Department between 2001 and 2003.
  • Barbara was first posted to China in 2003, rising to Deputy Head of Mission before moving to the UK Border Force to serve as the International Director from 2009 to 2011.
  • Barbara was appointed Director General (Economic & Consular) in 2011 before returning to China as Ambassador in 2015.


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